A Wal-Mart developer from Tennessee has lost his appeal in a Kentucky Circuit Court. On July 23, Circuit Judge Steve Hayden upheld a decision of the Henderson, Kentucky Planning Commission to reject a Wal-Mart supercenter in the heart of a residential community. The court in essence ruled that the city had not been “arbitrary and capricious” in its decision, but had backed up each complaint with findings of fact. The Planning Commission said, for example, that the Wal-Mart project did not conform with the development plan that had been approved as part of a rezoning plan in 1999, which called for 2 anchore tenants, not one. The judge said it was “not unreasonable that the number and size of the anchor tenants could have a large impact on the intensity of the property’s use.” The Planning Commission also rejected the Wal-Mart because an updated traffic study was never submitted to include intersections beyond the immediately store entrances. The judge said: “It is not uknfair that (the landowners) be required to bear a reasonable portioni of the public cost of determining the impact their development will have.” Finally the city said the developer did not fully address drainage issues, and the court agreed.
This October, it will be nearly two years since I helped the group Henderson First make its case before the city. No sooner was the 17 page decision issued this week, then the developer told the media he would appeal to a higher court. The lawyer for GBT realty told The Gleaner newspaper “The prospective tenants are more than Wal-Mart for that site. The project is worth fighting for.” Even though the developer thought he had a strong case, he waited 18 months to come out of court empty-handed. Henderson First, which organized opposition to the Wal-Mart, would agree with the developer on one count: Henderson is worth fighting for. For more background search this Newsflash database by “Henderson”.For a copy of the 17 page court decision, contact [email protected]